Fexco post-Brexit deal tips retail currency transactions over £1bn
Kerry financial services firm eyes expanding foreign exchange business to other markets
Fexco was set up in 1981 in Killorglin, Co Kerry, by its executive chairman Brian McCarthy. Photograph:Alan Betson
Fexco has bought its sixth UK foreign exchange business in five years, which will tip its annual volume of currency transactions over the £1 billion (€1.2 billion) mark for the first time.
The Kerry-based financial services group, which entered the fast-growing UK foreign exchange market in 2012 with the purchase of No1 Currency, this week bought a London firm, called Cash-a-Cheque (UK) Ltd, with six branches in south east England for an undisclosed sum.
The deal takes advantage of UK assets having become cheaper, as well as an increase in inbound tourism into Britain as a result of sterling falling against the euro following the Brexit referendum, according to Joe Redmond, managing director of foreign exchange services at Fexco.
It comes months after Fexco carried out its biggest ever UK deal, the purchase of another Currency Exchange Corporation in London, making it the largest dedicated foreign exchange provider on the UK high street.
“Fexco continues to see the UK retail FX (foreign exchange) market as a very attractive one in which to invest and expand, due to its large number of inbound and outbound tourists, its position outside the single currency, its geographical proximity to Ireland its enduring preference for cash,” said Mr Redmond.
The latest deal will boost its number of branches in Ireland and the UK to 125, with a workforce of over 400 people, of which about 50 are based in Ireland, Mr Redmond said.
Mr Redmond, who joined Fexco from Bank of Ireland in 2011 to expand the company’s foreign exchange operation abroad, said he is also looking at opportunities in Japan, Australia and the US, where the group already has other operations.
The unit’s expansion plans are “most advanced” in Japan, he told The Irish Times, declining to give further details. Prior to the division’s foray into the UK, annual foreign exchange transactions were running at €200 million in Ireland, he said.
Fexco, whose other businesses include multinational payments and a controlling stake in Goodbody Stockbrokers, was set up in 1981 in Killorglin, Co Kerry, by its executive chairman Brian McCarthy.